Photo by Melissa Phillip | Houston Chronicle

In the heart of New Orleans

The centerpiece of the Telling Their Stories initiative is a juried exhibit of the most powerful photojournalism produced during Hurricane Katrina.

Beginning August 19, 2010, a collection of 50 photographs will be on display at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans.

Coinciding with the 5-year anniversary of the storm, the images document the disaster that forever changed the lives of those living in the gulf coast region.

Telling Their Stories is the result of a small army of photojournalist’s desire to find purpose amidst the chaos. When people suffer, art reflectively finds a way to sift the meaning from the turmoil. Photography speaks with a commanding voice. Understanding rises from the confusion.

In the aftermath of the hurricane, survivors had stories to tell and eagerly sought ears able to hear and eyes able to see. The camera was there, and it didn’t blink.

Within the walls of the gallery space, visitors will be able to harness the emotion forever entwined with disaster. Regardless of how slowly the recovery has unfolded, the exhibit will provide a powerful reminder of how far the region has come in 5 years.

Without a doubt, the exhibit gives voice to the voiceless. But the whole story forever lies within the hearts of the people who lived the memory of the worst man-made disaster in American history. The 50 photographs serve as a refuge of a collective memory, resource for the uninitiated, a tribute to the heroes, a requiem for the lost and a collective voice that defiantly shouts, “never again.”

About The Project

When photographers converged on the convention center in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, a survivor cried out, "Thank God, the press is here.”

Her words expressed a sentiment that characterizes the storytelling and relationships between the people of the Gulf Coast and the media that developed in the months that followed.

On Thursday, August 19, a juried exhibit of Katrina imagery opened at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art coinciding with the 5-year anniversary of the disaster.

The exhibit, and a program of workshops and seminars explore the past, present and future of visual storytelling of Gulf Coast disasters.

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